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tv   Quadriga - The International Talk Show  LINKTV  September 13, 2015 10:00am-10:31am PDT

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>> this week on quadriga. african exodus. who is to blame? millions are fleeing their homelands escape violence and poverty. they say they have no future in the countries where they were born. risk their lives and sacrifice everything the process for the chance to make
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it to europe, america and other parts of the world. african countries are losing whole generations of young people. who is responsible for the mass exodus? international debate. your host is melinda crane. melinda: hello and welcome to "quadriga." the refugee crisis has been dominating headlines for weeks. much of the attention is focused on syrians. the largest share of those fleeing are africans and we want to look at their situation with three african guests. welcome pleasure to richard kahmis, a journalist from south sudan and went on to work for the german broadcaster mitteldeutscher rundfunk. lastingit will do damage to the economy of africa. and we have veye tatah, who was
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born in cameroon and lived in germany for many years. she is the editor-in-chief of "africa positive" magazine. she says many policies in the west end african countries contribute to my third guest is usman shehu, who is a journalist. he says it is not only corrupt leaders, but many in africa refuse to pay taxes. they need to change their attitude toward government. i have the honor to moderate the oecd's african forum yesterday. one european and african leader after another saying the growth prospects have not look so good in along time, and despite the fact there are conflicts, the fact is that the number of war victims is a good deal lower than it has been. thateye tatah, explained paradox if you would.
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thousands of people are leaving? ms. tatah: the reality is that the growth rate does not trickle down to the bottom of the pyramid. thosee that most of coming are from instructive industries. only 1% or 2% employment is taking place. so the majority of the african population is not being employed. that is what a lot of them do not have perspective. without jobs, we have to go to countries where there is hope of a better living standard. growthr 10% growth, 12% and yet, a lot of people do not have jobs. it isa: usman shehu, common to talk about push and pull factors. are they fleeing from an
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unbearable situation or to a promised land. that distinction is relevant. to politicians. they ask if they should decrease the pull factor. mr. shehu: i think it is new -- both. some people have to leave the country because her is the way of living. oft because there is no way living. . a lot of nigerians are in europe, but those in europe are rich people compared to those in villages who live with poverty, with hunger. pay money, it means you are rich but the poor people who do not have food two times a day cannot pay for this.
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they don't have the money to pay transport from nigeria to libya. there are different people. if you have refugees from countries where there is a lot nigeria hasi'm sure more refugees than the nigerian republican germany. there are people who have conflict. when you look in some areas like the sudan, people don't have a chance to leave. they have to leave. you are in the village during the famine, but it is being denied by war. even in the northeastern part of syria, have this. melinda: i want to take a closer look at some of the push factors
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, the things that cause people to leave. but one more question about this pull side, richard kahmis, should politicians be doing something more to let people and africa know the prospects not as good as they think? and to the media, what kind of people -- picture are people in africa getting of the journey itself and the prospects that await them here? the likelihood that they will be given permanent asylum? mr. khamis: that is where the problem begins. the picture in africa that you get is a very positive one. is what they rich, see. they have all the facilities that i human being can think of. there is the hunger in europe. a functioning infrastructure. everything is correct and fine. nobody will tell them that there is unemployment in this
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continent. nobody will tell them that if you don't have money you will starve and no one will give you food. no one tells them that even if you go to a doctor, you have to pay your part for treatment. you have to buy medicine. nobody tells them that. melinda: what about the journey? how much information do they have about how dangerous it is? mr. khamis: they have very little information about that. this is the bigger picture. they see heaven. to reach heaven you will do whatever you want just to take the journey, the boat, to reach the destination. the risk on the way -- nobody cares. some people even say, i am already dead. why not give it a try? 8 melinda: interesting that all of you have emphasized that the refugees are not necessarily the
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poorest and most downtrodden. let's take a closer look at who is leaving and why. >> this man once one thing -- to get to europe. seenmany nigerians, he has poverty and boko haram terrorism. 12,000 nigerians have tried to make it to europe by see this year alone. often with fatal results. nigeria has africa's most powerful economy. the country is rich in natural resources but fails to exploit potential. most nigerians exist in bitter poverty and the population is growing dramatically. the country has 170 million inhabitants. nigeria has massive problems with pollution, child labor and religious strife. it is very explosive. europeangerman and
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migration policy is based on making a distinction between those who believe fearing's -- prosecution and those who leave as economic migrants. i would like to talk a bit about the degree to which that holds. ask usman to get us started. can you explain how they really hold up? mr. shehu: like i said before, in a country like nigeria -- for example, the reporter discussed that the person left where bo boko haram is. if you live in those areas, you do not have a way of living. the majority of nigerians in the west are not coming from the northeastern part of the country where the conflict is.
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the majority of the nigerians who pass through libya, through hardship, who sacrifice their lives, and not people coming nigeria conflict, a where people who live in cities see their friends or relatives in the west already made it and have good houses. good living. they see that people with families in europe, they send money every month or every week. they see that they are wealthy people. if we want to- see whether they are people from conflict, the majority believed to come are people who come because they want to make a good living. they want to get rich. they are not satisfied. but there are more poor people in the villages and they are still there, because they don't
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even have money to come to the city. would youeye tatah, say that is right in your experience? ms. tatah: yes, that is right but we also have to look at the vision from europe. why would they create a policy where africans who are educated have a chance to come legally and work in europe. europeans can go legally and work in different parts of the continent. europe create this opportunity for others? it is a one-way game. we europeans have the right to go everywhere, but they do not have the right to come to us. it is something that the african withnent has to figure out the european government. , you have legal migration will reduce illegal. melinda: germany's labor
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minister said she would like to create 25,000 visas for economic migrants, saying that she believes it would limit the illegal flow. do you think that is true? ms. tatah: 25,000 is really small. the reality, anybody with no perspective always tries to get out to get a better living. it doesn't matter which continent you are from. it will continue. the best way is to make sure that the europeans, and the conditions, does not affect the living standards of other countries. as long as we have profit from economic activities, it is going to lead to the migration of youth from the country. melinda: let's come back to the
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role of the market and industry later, but perhaps, a closer look at the reasons people have relieving. southern sudan, a country that you know very well, richard khamis. how does this balance between persecution and economic benefit like out there? mr. khamis: the main concern is the armed conflict. that is why they are fleeing away. very impoverished people. ticketnnot even afford a to leave that place. europe, theyoat to cannot afford that. so what they do is they run into the neighboring countries, where
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they take refuge. is with the aspect sudanese at the moment. melinda: we worked together at that african forum i mentioned earlier, veye tatah, and both of us heard one african leader after another expressing distress about the fact so many africans are leaving the continent. did that satisfy you? are they doing enough to prevent the exodus? all politicians are the same. the are not doing their job right. trainedsome politicians to do the job or tackle the challenges. in my opinion, in many african countries we have politicians who do not care what the majority of the population is going through. that is the problem in most african countries. the problem of ethnicity is a is anig problem that
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obstacle to the development of many african countries. when the leader comes to power he doesn't think i am the leader of the whole nation, he thinks i'm the leader of this ethnic group. we have to stop that. we have to responsible for everyone in that country. from outside will help solve our problems. you have to have the responsibility. everybody in your country gets clean water. it doesn't matter where they come from. it doesn't matter what language they speak. money is not only the issue. we need to change our mindset to develop our country. melinda: poor governance is a cost often cited as one of the major push factors. one african entrepreneur thought
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he could create an incentive for good governance by awarding a prize. he only discovered after that it is not all that easy to find a winner. 2007, the former mozambique president became the first head of state to receive the ibrahim prize for excellence in african leadership. been awarded only four times. most recently in 2014 to the x namibian president. there are not many suitable recipients. many african heads of state change the constitutions to avoid leaving office when the time is up. teodoro.he way, is a push andlaunched took over equatorial guinea. he has been in power for 36
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years. behind, the authoritarian ruler from zimbabwe is 90 years old and has been in office for 35 years. they are two examples of power-hungry autocrats lording over african countries. usman shehu, your opening statement that people do not pay taxes indicates you think it is not only the leaders to blame but the citizens. mr. shehu: most countries in theca, people look at leaders and think only what the government can do for me and not what i can offer. here in europe, everybody knows i must pay my taxes whether i am walking or have a car.
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going tomoney is not the government treasury. that is the problem people have. they think i need hospitals and roads but i don't think about my own responsibility to give so the government can do the road for me. elites whon't it bad set the example by putting their own money abroad in swiss bank accounts? i know that your new president in nigeria was elected partly because he was perceived immune to corruption. however, he was quite authoritarian in his previous time in power. do you expect he can turn things around? mr. shehu: i believe he will change, but before that, i do not believe he is authoritarian. why do i say that? there are many heads of state in nigeria who were more authoritarian than him, but is not recorded.
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as aast president, arrested two villages completely. nobody is calling him authoritarian. i agree, there are many people who were persecuted, but when they were found not guilty, they were released. that is what happens in the west. yes, he was elected and does not have money. i am not campaigning for anybody, but he has started to create change. electricity. one of the major problems of nigeria is electricity. i many cities and villages, sold electricity. to put oil forgotten in their generators to light their houses. who are selling generators complained their market is going down. a lot of industries shut down.
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50% of industries in these areas shut down because there is no electricity. foreign companies working in to run at use generators their machines because there is no national grid. that has changed. came, it wasident so empty. he did not do any magic but now we see the economy is dipping up. there is a lot of hope and expect tatian it -- expectation if africa will get people like him. one of the absolute critical aspects of good governance would be jobs. it needs millions of new jobs every year, all across the continent.
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why is it so hard to create the jobs? peoplemis: the responsible for job creation are the people governing the country. infrastructure. cannot entrust an individual businessman to create rules for the whole continent. it is the task of the government, and the people in power, to create such infrastructure. what do you need? you need people who are able to do something. to run machines. to pave places. to drag tractors. these are the young people who should be doing that, but these people have not been trained. who should put the scheme into place? the government.
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not the private person or business. melinda: good governance. a big topic in the development community and the forum we attended. how much can development cooperation due to put pressure on african leaders? how much can it be promoted from outside? ms. tatah: it is difficult to promote from outside. it is a problem in society. as i said before, when we have societies in africa, where those who do wrong, those who elicit money, whom the people admire, that is a problem. we need honesty in society. society where we can say you did the wrong thing. it is impossible in this society. those who do the wrong thing are those being pushed up. you have to change things in our mindset. you talked about youth.
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we have a lot of educated youth. they are not put into those positions. they will put somebody in the party who is not qualified to do the job. we have two rational. we have to stop -- we have to be rational. we have to stop that kind of behavior. usman shehu, many of the leaders at yesterday's forum were saying we want to do better but the deck is stacked against us. the markets and the agricultural global economy is working to the benefit of major western firms and players. there is little that we can do to solve our own problems. would you agree with that? africahu: i think that has its own problem, but i think africans can do it as well.
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back, the last don't needaid we cotton from anywhere and i will not made -- where any close that are not made here. dream the stream -- this and he knew they could produce cotton and he did not need to buy clothes outside. secondly, we saw a lot of presidents and africa who just come to get rich. we have to stop this. --ple come not to rule people come to power without any plan. they say if i become the president, i will do this and that and will achieve this within my time limit. but people come to get rich. that is what we think the european bunnies -- companies, their own fault is if any head of state comes to power, they
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have the right to bring money into europe. including nigeria. germany did not do anything to say no corrupt dollars can come to my country. so we continue seeing these people because they are protected. melinda: last word, richard,'s -- richard kahmis, who can change it? change has to come from within? civil society, what can they do? mr. khamis: they can play a positive role trying to change the mindset of the people. it is not only society. each and everyone in africa has a role to play. the government and the society. even the farmer. they have to change their mindsets to think about the continent first. melinda: i am afraid we have to leave it there.
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thank you for joining us. see you soon.
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